West Ham manager Avram Grant could miss his struggling side’s Premier League match against Stoke later this month to observe Yom Kippur.
Grant’s team play at the Britannia Stadium on September 18 – a key date in the Jewish calendar which marks the Day of Atonement – and the Hammers’ Israeli boss may be given a leave of absence.
West Ham are bottom of the Premier League after losing their first three matches, but co-owner David Gold has no intention of forcing former Chelsea and Portsmouth manager Grant to work if he prefers to observe Yom Kippur.
“It is difficult to stand in the way of religious conviction,” Gold said. “Religion is a very personal thing and, much as I would like Avram to be at every game, I would respect his decision.
“It’s like a player who wants to miss a game to be at the birth of his child – no matter how much his team-mates might need him on the pitch, it’s hard to stand in his way of something which is so important in his personal life.
“It varies, from individual to individual, how important religion is to you and it’s a question of degrees. If my grandparents were still alive, they would not have gone to a match on Yom Kippur.
“Personally, I believe it is possible to fulfil both your religious obligations and your work obligations, but it’s not so easy to do both if you are absolutely devout.
“I don’t know Avram well enough yet to say whether he must be at the game, but you can’t make a judgement like this on behalf of someone else.”
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